Every person is unique; the same applies to the thyroid.
Each body breaks down and processes nutrients differently. Some patients eat several plates of food and not gain a pound. Meanwhile, other patients live healthy lifestyles but struggle to lose weight. In other words, some people have an overactive or an underactive thyroid .
At Diamond Chiropractic, our team is exceptional when it comes to understanding the thyroid and how it affects the body. Whether it is an ongoing condition that is getting worse (a “chronic” condition), or it appeared very suddenly (an “acute” condition), our chiropractor in Omaha has the answer and treatment for you.
What’s the Difference?
Let’s start by first describing the differences between an overactive and an underactive thyroid.
An overactive thyroid is when the thyroid produces too much hormones. This can result in a rapid heartbeat and weight loss. Therefore, it is difficult to say if a patient is suffering from an overactive thyroid or not.
An underactive thyroid occurs when the thyroid produces little to no hormones. This leads to health issues such as joint pain, weight gain and heart disease. It is difficult to say if a patient suffers from an underactive thyroid due to the lack of hormones.
Symptoms of an Overactive/ Underactive Thyroid
While these two conditions can mimic other health issues, they have certain symptoms that differ from each other.
With an overactive thyroid…
The most common symptoms are weight loss and rapid heartbeat. Other symptoms include being sensitive to heat and having shaky hands. Experiencing diarrhea is also common.
A patient’s personality and behavior can be affected as well. They may be nervous and have trouble sleeping. Being irritable is another possible change in their behavior.
With an underactive thyroid…
Common symptoms to look for are weight gain and a slower heart rate. Patients with an underactive thyroid are sensitive to cold and have stiffness or swelling in their joints. Suffering from constipation is also common.
An underactive thyroid can affect a person’s personality and behavior, too. A patient may have difficulty concentrating and sleeping. In addition, they can be very anxious and experience mood swings.
What symptoms do they have in common?
Surprisingly, both conditions cause muscle weakness. Additionally, women suffering from either condition will experience changes in their menstrual patterns.
Causes of an Overactive/ Underactive Thyroid
Unfortunately, there is no exact cause for these conditions. What we do know is something makes the thyroid produce too much or too little hormones.
The Hormones T3 & T4
These hormones are important for proper body functioning. They are made of iodine, a chemical that helps control your body’s temperature and heart rate. Those hormones also help the body absorb energy and monitor calcium in the blood.
What happens with an overactive thyroid?
An overactive thyroid produces too much of the hormone T4. Possible causes include Graves’ disease or an inflammation in the thyroid.
When the thyroid produces too much hormones, the body’s temperature and heart are affected. This means there is too much iodine in the body. Due to this, the body experiences rapid weight loss and heart rate.
What about an underactive thyroid?
An underactive thyroid produces little to no hormones. Some cases of an underactive thyroid are the result of treatment for an overactive thyroid.
Like an overactive thyroid, the body and heart are affected when there is little to no hormones. This means there is too little iodine in the body. As such, the results are a slower heart rate and weight gain.
Is there anything the two have in common?
Both conditions have some things in common. More specifically, they share some common factors.
One factor is your family’s medical history. Any history of an autoimmune disease or a gland disorder can lead to patients developing an overactive/ underactive thyroid.
Another factor is pregnancy. Some thyroid conditions appear during pregnancy. Most often, those conditions are temporary, disappearing shortly afterwards.
In addition, women are more likely than men to develop a thyroid condition. Regardless, any patient can develop a thyroid condition. Pay attention to the signs and seek medical advise if needed.
How the Thyroid Affects Your Skin
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Not only does it protect your organs and muscles, but it gives us clues about our health. Skin conditions – caused by the thyroid – help explain a person’s overall health (Lause et al., 2017, p. 300). These signs show us how the thyroid is behaving, and how patients can begin healing themselves.
An Overactive Thyroid & Your Skin
Overactive thyroids are often associated with conditions such as Graves’ disease. Patients with overactive thyroids experience flushing in the face and redness in certain areas. The skin can feel smooth and warm at the touch, as well.
Aside from the skin, a patient’s hair will thin, becoming finer and softer. Soft and shiny nails are also common.
An Underactive Thyroid & Your Skin
Underactive thyroids result from iodine deficiency and/or a chronic autoimmune disease. Regardless, patients with underactive thyroids will have dry skin; it may feel cold to the touch. Yellowing of the skin is common.
In addition, the patient’s hair and nails become brittle and rough.
Other Health Concerns…
Depending on the condition of the thyroid, other health issues can develop.
Aside from Graves’ disease, patients with overactive thyroids may suffer from Hashimoto’s disease. Experiencing eye problems is common, too.
Patients with underactive thyroids may develop patches of lighter skin color or hives. In addition, little to no eyebrow hairs can occur.
According to Zone Technique…
If a patient is suffering from a thyroid condition, certain systems in the body may be off-balanced. According to the Zone Technique, thyroid conditions result from imbalances in the following zones:
Zone 1: The Glandular System
Zone 1 is the body’s glandular system, comprised of over 200 glands, which release essential hormones and chemicals into the body. This zone is the body’s highly-advanced pharmacy. Because of this, when the body experiences stress, physically and/or mentally, subluxations in the spine can occur. Spinal misalignments will disrupt normal nerve communication between the brain and the glands, affecting the production of hormones throughout the body. This includes disrupting communication to the thyroid, resulting in an overactive or underactive gland.
Zone 4: The Digestion System
Zone 4 is the digestive system, the body’s internal engine. This system works to convert food and drinks into usable energy for the body. Like a car, the body functions better when it is fueled by clean energy, by essential proteins and fats. When there is an imbalance in this zone, your body will not break down those nutrients properly. Because of this, diet plays a role in having a healthy lifestyle. Imbalances in the digestion cycle influences the thyroid gland, either shutting it down or causing it to overproduce the hormones T3 and T4.
Zone 6: The Circulation System
Zone 6 is the circulatory system. The circulatory system carries nutrients and hormones throughout the body, and it carries away wastes, dumping it into the proper organs and glands for elimination. This system is crucial in delivering essential energy and hormones throughout the human body. As such, when there is an imbalance in this zone, nerve communication is hindered, affecting proper blood circulation. When this happens, the body can weaken, due to lack of proper energy absorption and waste filtration. This, in part, affects the rest of the body.
Thyroid Condition Treatment
At Diamond Chiropractic in Omaha, our chiropractor will perform an examination, take x-rays, and evaluate your posture to determine the cause of your case. After comparing the findings and confirming the diagnosis, our chiropractor will develop a treatment plan to help alleviate your symptoms, heal the pain, and provide you with recommendations to lower your risk for possible reoccurrences.
Our doctor will realign the vertebrae in the affected area to increase your range of motion and alleviate the pain on the spinal nerves. We will focus on the imbalanced zone(s) connected to your case and begin treatment from there. Symptoms resulting from an overactive or underactive thyroid may begin to decrease as well.
Electro-therapy, or acupuncture, is effective with an overactive/ underactive thyroid. This is achieved through targeting certain acupuncture points during treatment, as well as an electro-muscle stimulator during therapy. Patients will notice, after several treatments, pain and certain symptoms beginning to decrease in frequency. Additionally, they will start to see more mobility come back to their spine and other affected areas of the body.
With any injury, whether to the back, neck, or extremity, the last thing you want to do is make the pain worse. The same idea applies to handling cases for an overactive/ underactive thyroid. Our advice is designed to help you perform everyday tasks safely. This includes suggestions to improving your diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and getting plenty of rest. At Diamond Chiropractic, we focus on healing and relief from an overactive/ underactive thyroid, not aggravating the pain further.
Lause, M., Kamboj, A., & Faith, E. (2017). Dermatologic manifestations of endocrine disorders. Translational Pediatrics, 6 (4), 300-312. Retrieved 9, September 2020 from https://tp.amegroups.com/article/view/16983